Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress—such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors. I believe Covid-19 falls squarely in the category of a significant source of stress! And although resilience is about bouncing back, this is also an opportunity for major personal growth. What it isn’t.
Being resilient doesn’t mean that a person won’t experience difficulty or distress. People who have suffered major adversity or trauma in their lives commonly experience emotional pain and stress. In fact, the road to resilience is likely to involve considerable emotional distress. Is Resilience a personality trait?
We are all born with capability to adapt and although some may be more naturally resilient, most of our coping behavior has evolved from our environment. We have learned and repeated our thought patterns and behaviors over and over in our life times. Resilience involves behaviors, thoughts, and actions that anyone can learn and develop. "The ability to learn resilience is one reason research has shown that resilience is ordinary, not extraordinary.
One example is the response of many Americans to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and individuals’ efforts to rebuild their lives after tragedy." Like building a muscle, increasing your resilience takes time and intentionality. Focusing on four core components—connection, wellness, healthy thinking, and meaning—can empower you to withstand and learn from difficult and traumatic experiences. To increase your capacity for resilience to weather—and grow from—the difficulties, use these strategies. Home//Psychology Topics//Building your resilience. American Psychological Association 2012.
HOW TO BUILD RESILIENCE? Reframe your thoughts.
There are many things we can do to begin building our resilience. Some of them may already be part of your life. Others can be added by being mindful, noticing what you are thinking and deciding to change the story. Did you know our brain is wired to learn in story format? That is how we protect ourselves. If we are not immediately presented with the context of good, bad, safe, danger etc., our brains will begin creating a story for us to react to.
Author and researcher, Brene Brown used the example of the text dots. Have you ever had the text bubble pop up on your phone with three dots that immediately disappear? What happens next? Your brain immediately goes to work thinking about what that person was going to say. You create a story in your head and, depending upon your thought habits, that message for you is impending doom, another “thing” someone is going to ask you to do, someone reaching out who needs you now, someone replying that got interrupted by another phone call, a decision to wait to complete a text when they have more time (and information) or possibly someone forgot to push send! You get the picture. Our brain creates a story that we in turn respond to with emotion. How do you deal with this?
The first step is awareness. Just notice….I am creating the story that….. Then decide if that is true and if that is how you want to feel. Choose the story that serves you.
Seek support. Make a list of the people in your life that you know and can speak with about your situation. Make a list of people you don’t know that could possibly help you. (Coach, Counselor, Clergy). Schedule time to call or visit with them. Make and appointment on your calendar to connect and follow through.
“We don’t have to do all of it alone. We were never meant to.” Brene Brown.
Focus on what you CAN control. What can you control? Your attitude, effort and actions. This includes your opinions, aspirations, dreams, desires, and goals. This includes how we decide to spend our time, what books we read, how productive we are, what we eat, the effort we put in to get enough sleep and who we choose to spend our time with. All of these things drastically effect each and every situation we find ourselves in.
What is outside of our control? Pretty much everything else. The family and body you were born into, the weather, the economy, the Corona Virus, how life’s events unfold and OTHER PEOPLE. Trying to control or change what isn’t within your control is a never ending losing battle. It will drain your energy and keep you feeling down.
QUESTION FOR YOU What is one thing that has been creating stress in your life that you can now recognize as a circumstance out of your control? 2. Are you willing start working on your thoughts that serve you? 3. What is one new thought that is either neutral or positive about that situation that serves you?
My response. Ok, friends brutal honesty here.. 1. FEAR of starting a new role, a new business, of putting myself out there, of FAILURE, JUDGEMENT AND REJECTION. 2. YES 3. My focused thought that I repeat everyday is that.. I am doing what I was born to do, I am confident in my desire to help people, I am confident in my energy and willingness to do the work, I know that failure is required for success. I am willing to fail as many times as it takes to build this business. There are only accomplished results and working results. My favorite thing about coaching is seeing people recognize their own ability, inner strength and power to determine their unfolding story. I have seen it with clients many times in my short coaching career and it moves me every time. It is WORTH the FEAR.